Definition of keelback in English:



  • A harmless Australian snake which lives close to water, where it feeds exclusively on frogs and the cane toad, whose venom it is immune to.

    Amphiesma mairii, family Colubridae

    • ‘The keelbacks living in fields are gentle little snakes.’
    • ‘We recommend that the red-necked keelback be considered a dangerous animal and the public be discouraged from keeping it as a pet.’
    • ‘Female keelbacks return to the place where they hatched from an egg, to lay their own eggs when the time comes.’
    • ‘The narrow bands of speckled scales which adorn the body and tail are also a typical keelback pattern.’
    • ‘A few Southeast Asian keelbacks species, such as the red-necked keelback were documented to have caused significant envenomations.’


So named because each scale on the back has a keel.